Once we graduate from student accommodation and start decorating our own houses it’s rare that we hang a picture on a wall without putting it in a frame. Of course this protects it (and the wall from sticky marks) but, if done well, a frame enhances the picture that it holds.
Our homes are surrounded by natural frames and yet rarely do we take advantage of them to show off the best of the room beyond. I’m talking, of course, of door frames and today I wanted to show you a few views from a room that are brought together and enhanced by the [door]frame through which they are seen. And if you don’t believe me then imagine all the frames in white and see how the effect is lessened.
At the weekend I had dinner with a friend who I haven’t seen for a few months. Apparently as I was leaving the last time told her to paint her skirting boards to match her dark grey walls ( I may have had wine). She has just done so and said she couldn’t believe the difference it has made to the room.
The first three images (I’ll pause while you scroll back up in case you didn’t look closely enough on the way down) have used the door frame exactly as the name would suggest – to frame not just the door but to draw the eye to, and enhance, the view beyond. The artist Carol from maxmademedoit (great paintings for kids and grown-ups alike btw) has not only made the wallpaper look more striking with her bright green door frame but it draws your eye to the hallway.
Above, the door frame is in a darker shade of green than the walls, and note (because I am often asked) you can match the skirting boards to the wall rather than the door frame if you want. Yes, this is all wood but don’t feel you have to match the vertical door architrave to the horizontal base board if you don’t want to. The point being that the dark door frame draws your eye to the room beyond and the similar rugs in both link the spaces. This is an image from Sally’s new book Calm (which we will be reviewing on the podcast soon so I’ll show you more then).
This was part of Friday’s post but I’m still looking at the blue door frame (here the door, frame and skirtings boards do all match – see – no rules except don’t just reach for the white paint mindlessly) which leads the eye to the matching skirting boards travelling up the stairs and the blue green wall that is a contrast but a toning one so the feeling is one of calm while still allowing for intense colour. And yes there is white in there but the darker colours used not only enhance the shape of the staircase but also flip the traditional look of white walls and woodwork and colour only on fixtures and fittings.
This room in the home of Cassandra Ellis, whose gorgeous paint I have used in my sitting room, is so simple but the blue window frame draws your eye to the view beyond and is a perfect foil to the copper bath below. There are many soft pinks and blues on her site and she also puts together the most beautiful palettes so you could just pick one and paint your whole house knowing that it would all fit together and you wouldn’t have to spend hours agonising over tester pots. One of my favourites is Il Fiorista (which is not a million miles away from what I have apart from the yellow) but for a slightly bolder selection look at Jay or for a cooler one look at Paradise Lost. And The Mad Husband has talked about repainting three times in the last month so clearly we are going to be changing something up soon – the question is what.
Below is watercolour from her collection and once again, although the door frame is in shadow it’s the yellow cushion that draws the eye into the room and that, my friends, is the kind of detail we are here for.